Blockchain powered technologies, tools and services are flooding the market. Most of the applications are more or less PR stunts to raise value of stocks or have successful ICO. However, every now and then a something truly interesting emerges. It's usually a product, that makes sense on its own and addition of blockchain is a solution a very specific part of it.
Basic ideology combines privacy and ad-free browsing as Brave comes with built-in Shield, which is basically an Adblock on steroids. And it works pretty well. Thanks to it, browsing is lighting fast as ads and tracking scripts often cause performance issues. In fact, browser will display special stats on homepage to let you know, how much time you saved by using Brave instead of [add you browser here]. Brave is my primary browser for couple of weeks now and the speed is so addictive, that I am willing to forgive couple of UX issues. Sadly, Brave is not yet fully suitable for web development related things. This should change soon.
BAT for publishers
So where's the blockchain part? Brave brings entirely new model for payments to the market. Instead of subscription based services it offers an ecosystem with a single BAT wallet directly integrated into browser. Funds in that account can be distributed monthly to publishers of your choosing. Imagine using a provider A and B. Instead of having to subscribe to each service, you'd have one account and you could specify, how much of your funds should be sent and where. Of course, this system is heavily trust based as, at least at this stage, publishers rely on your willingness to donate each month.
BAT for users
BAT is also involved in new ad infrastructure. Yes, I did say that Brave offers ad-free browsing and that is true. However, if you choose to do so, you can enable Brave ads on pages you visit - should they have them. If you do that, upon displaying ads you can earn a small amount of BAT tokens for yourself. My guess is, that it won't buy you a lunch, but it's at least something. Many ads on the market simply force their way into your browsing experience consuming your data plan/bandwidth, computing power/electricity. You'd be surprised how much that can be. Being a web developer, part of my job are occasional performance audits and numbers mentioned in article above are real - at least the loading times.
Brave browser is a solid product. It promises to deliver great browsing experience and it does so. Even though there are UX and devtools issues yet to be solved, I'd rather have this, than a shiny, near-to-perfect user experience in a browser, that takes ages to load a page.